THIS is the moment a lifelong dream was fulfilled for an Irish nature photographer.
Simon Duggan (44) from Baltimore, Co Cork, was walking his dog when he spotted whales in the bay.
He and his friend Yuan Jacob ran to the nearby harbour, jumped in a rigid inflatable boat and within 10 minutes they were in the centre of an active group of humpback whales.
Then it happened – the huge animal breached, or leapt out of the water – in a display for its human spectators.
"I wasn't scared, really. it happened so fast – the adrenaline was going," he said.
"The whale did six breaches in total – it was extraordinary. I have taken pictures of breaches all over the world but this happening at home is a dream come true," he said.
Mr Duggan said he hasn't slept for a week – he's been watching the whales off the harbour, where he lives and works as a gardener.
"The whales came here about 10 days ago and we have watched them bubble fishing – we never thought that we would see this happen."